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“In our opinion, the best hotel in Holbox”

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Holbox Hotel Casa las Tortugas - Petit Beach Hotel & Spa
Ranked #4 of 20 Hotels in Holbox Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 January 2013

Just returned from a week's stay in Holbox at Casa Las Tortugas. We had a great time. The hotel is beautiful -- laid out in an artful nest of villas and balconies with thatched roofs and exposed beams. The staff at the front desk are helpful and friendly, and quickly accommodate any request they can. The rooms are whimsical and comfortable, and engineered to let the fresh breezes pass through.

The breakfasts that come with the stay were generally delicious. They would have 3 choices each day: scrambled eggs with an additive that changed from day to day (bacon, mushrooms, sausage) and a side of refried beans, a fruit dish, or a third choice that varied daily. The restaurant is set by the beach and overlooks the ocean, and if the breeze was pleasant, they would leave the glass doors to the beach open and you could dine al fresco (if it was too windy, they closed the glass doors).

The rooms varied significantly from one another -- each one is unique, and has its own name (as well as a pictogram at its entrance). We were in the "Honeymoon Room" (Luna de Miel), and our friends were in "Stars" (Estrella) and "Sun" (Sol). All 3 rooms were clustered together on the second floor of the rearmost building, which was very convenient for us. Stars and Sun were rather small rooms, but both had large balconies that featured swinging beds. The noise of golfcarts from the adjacent road could get a bit annoying, however. The Honeymoon room had a narrow balcony and a hammock -- not great for socializing on, but fine if you wanted to sit outside and nap.

The rooms and facility were kept clean by the ceaseless efforts of their housekeeping staff -- a daunting task in that the roads of Holbox as well as most of the ground floor of the hotel are made of sand, which gets tracked in everywhere. I advise removing your shoes or sandals when entering your room to minimize sand intrusion. We brought mosquito nets at the suggestion of other Holbox reviewers, but never needed them in our room. I did get bit a few times while we were sitting outside on the balcony, but not too badly, and the mosquito repellent I had packed soon stopped it.

The bed was okay -- a bit firmer than I like. Some of the pillows were as hard as cement. Our friends weren't too fond of their beds, and one couple said their best night of sleep was spent on their balcony on the swing bed.

The bathrooms were good and clean; hot water in the shower was very hot and showed up with little delay. The sink was only fitted with a cold water line. As other reviewers have noted, as a peculiarity of Holbox's plumbing and sanitation system, they request that you NOT flush toilet paper down the toilet (the toilet paper is also of the type one finds on a boat). There's no getting around the grossness of leaving an enfecaled wad of paper in one's trash can, but that's how it is. Don't say you weren't warned.

The location of the hotel is, in my opinion, the best in Holbox. It lies on the northeast corner of the town grid, which means that it is a short walk to and from all of the shops, restaurants, bars, and other offerings of Holbox, but it is also not besieged by them -- a perfect mix of town and country. Some of the other hotels and resorts are a bit isolated; others are subject to noise and traffic from their neighbors. Casa Las Tortugas is just right.

All of which brings us to the subject of noise: Casa Las Tortugas is built as a tightly-clustered village, with cement walls and floors, and louvered wooden doors and windows. They are great at letting fresh air in, but lousy at keeping noise out. At its closest point, our balcony was about 18 inches from the balcony at the next building over. All of which means that you will probably be able to hear your neighbors, and they will be able to hear you. Most of the time, people are keeping it down, so there's no problem, but if you are a noisy person (or easily irritated by the noise of others) you should be aware. As another reviewer mentioned, guests with beachfront rooms on the ground floor are basically sharing their patios with the rest of the hotel.

The restaurant at Casa Las Tortugas ("Mandarina," which deserves its own, separate review) is lovely and has great views. Service varies dramatically sometimes with the same server and within the same meal -- speedy at times, lethargic at others. We ate dinner there one night, and while it was good, many of the other restaurants in town did better (see "The Local List" on the Holbox Forum).

There is a Kiteboarding school on the premises of the hotel, and it looked like those guys were having a ball on the windy days.

The beach has tons of chaise lounges, hammocks, and swing beds for the taking. Plenty of space, and it doesn't get crowded. The beach did get a bit loaded with seaweed, although on the 5th day the ocean currents mysteriously carried it away.

There is an ATM in the lobby of the hotel, but it usually doesn't work.

As another reviewer comments, the "hot tub" section of the pool is not heated -- it is the same temperature as the pool water. The pool is clean and refreshing.

The room safe is user-programmable, and we used it to store our valuables.

Oddities of the room: the rooms don't feature dressers or bureaus, so you will be living out of your bag. There is a curtain rod in Luna de Miel, but it has a shelf with the room safe on it set below it, so it is useless for hanging any garment that is more than 8 inches long.

To wrap up, if you are considering a trip to Holbox, you are probably not the type of high-maintenance whiner that will complain about the few shortcomings of Casa Los Tortugas. Having examined its competitors closely, if I return to Holbox, I will not hesitate to stay here again.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Gordon13798465
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 January 2013

We have been to Holbox many times and this was our first stay at Tortugas. Check in was smooth and the girls at the front desk were very friendly and welcoming.We stayed in the ground floor beachfront room and were very impressed. The room was pricey but you really do get what you pay for no matter where you are, and we felt Casa Las Tortugas was worth the price for sure.
Our review may seem "nit picky" but hey that's our job. Below is an honest pro/con list based on our recent stay.

Pros:
- Room was spotless and decor was nice
- Bed was probably the most comfortable bed we have slept in while in Mexico
- Hammock on the deck was a nice touch
- The ocean view from the room and deck was breathtaking
- Bathroom was large and clean, very nice shower
- Pool was beautiful and perfect for a morning swim
- We stayed at a very busy time of year Christmas/ New Years hotel was full but the layout of the hotel is designed right, we hardly saw many other guests on the grounds and it never felt crowded
- The beachfront area which is only for guests use is one of the nicest areas on the whole island for sure
- Cold beer frozen drinks and lunch in the restaurant are awesome
Cons:
- Breakfast in restaurant was just ok
- Our room was right beside the restaurant so we were woke up by the staff dragging chairs around on the floor setting up tables very early in the morning, and had to listen to the sound of dishes clanking together ( we did sleep with the window open though so if it was closed I'm sure it wouldn't have been so audible)
- I totally get that we are all on " island time" while on Holbox which is usually not an issue but while our server was very nice and friendly it took her forever to get coffee everytime in the morning busy or empty, and that drove us kinda nuts as we love our morning coffee
- Again being 2 steps beside the restaurant while sitting on the deck or in the hammock we did have restaurant patrons staring at us
-The glass shower door had a crooked hinge so door didn't close all the way which made showers a little messy
-No fridge
- No tv ( I know we are not there to watch tv but sometimes it is nice to watch a movie before bed especially if you are there for a long stay)

Recommendations for the hotel :
- A half privacy wall or something on the side of the deck between restaurant and deck would be helpful
- A small fridge would be a nice touch
- A full length mirror in the rooms would be amazing
- Maybe a little coffee station or something for guests to grab a quick coffee in the mornings
- To keep up the good work, this hotel really is just beautiful you can tell the owners take a lot of pride in it

We will definitely stay at Tortugas again !

Room Tip: Pool view or ocean view what ever your price range is you cannot go wrong. What ever view you look o...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Hotand B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2012

This hotel takes an A++++++ in absolutely everything! We did have a rough couple of nights or rather mornings because of noisy kids next to us, but besides that THIS is the place to stay in Holbox. Everybody from the Receptionists, to the waiters, to the Spa staff, every one will make sure to accommodate your needs. Wether is changing around massage times, to bring you your lattes to your room, to lending you mosquito repellent, what ever it is, DONE! They serve breakfast every morning, and I have to stay out of ALL the hotels I have stayed at, this breakfast is THE BEST. It is super yummers and the best way to start off your day. I don't usually eat all the time at hotels, but Casa Tortugas makes such amazing food that you just don't want to leave.. And their day beds are just incredible! Try the lobster ceviche, the lobster risotto, and a MUST! The coconut ice cream!!! I don't think it's listed on the menu, but ask for it, you won't regret it! Overall the best experience ever! It is hard to get there but worth it! Also if you are one of those people like my husband, that cannot just enjoy staying at the beach reading a book, drinking cocktails and just swimming in the ocean or the pool, then maybe Holbox is not the place for you. As far as things to do, there aren't that many, you can rent a golf cart and explore the island which we did, you can rent a kayak and explore around the island which we did, but I was bent out of shape because I really didn't want to haha and I baked under the hard core sun, so did my husband, you can also do paddle boarding now *i think* we didn't do it, you can walk around town, or rent a dirt bike, depending on the season you can do the whale shark tour, which is awesome but PLEASE! Use biodegradable sunscreen, the whale shark is a wild animal you will hurt his environment if you don't listen to the rules, and you can also do kite surfing. Sounds like a lot, but you know how some people are. If you want just to relax and enjoy then this is the place to go. Also if you are looking for some crazy wild night outs at clubs, DEFINITELY Holbox is NOT for you.

Room Tip: Ask in advance to have a room where no family with lots of kids is staying next to you. We had the h...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mariana A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2012

Second time there. We stayed in the Colibri room which is a "beach bungalow" but actually has two stories with two decks, a kitchenette downstairs with fridge, a queen bed and a single bed upstairs, AC, and fan. Absolutely no bugs. The pool and hot tub are great and don't forget the spa for wonderful massages by Juliana and the yoga classes. The hotel restaurant is even better than last year with more breakfast choices, great happy hour specials, and is also one of the best places on the island for dinner. Our visit was over thanksgiving week...the island is a little quieter in November than December with a few restaurants closed, but still plenty of great places to eat including Los Peleones, El Chapulim (the 'no menu" place, Chef Eric will consult with you), Viva Zapata, Mawimbi's Beach Bar and a couple of great empanada places including Las Panchas. I recommend renting a golf cart from the hotel ($10 an hour) and exploring the far end of the island where you can see pink flamingos. We have heard that there is a possibility of a huge new mega-development on the uninhabited north end of the island, there is a petition against it that the owner of Los Peleones sent to us on Twitter, I will try and post it on the Holbox forum (which is worth checking out, try the article The Local List from Feb. 12).

Room Tip: Beach bungalows are big with two levels, and a little more privacy than the ground level rooms, and...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank flebinski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2012 via mobile

Casa Tortugas is a lovely little hotel at Isla Holbox. The location is perfect, the rooms have lovely design and the pool and garden is really beautiful. Even the restaurang is good. Highly reccomended.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank Projekttanz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2012

This was our third visit to the island and to this hotel. We love Casa Las Tortugas and can't bear to stay anywhere else. The beach in front is decorated so beautifully, and the hotel itself is very charming. We have seen several rooms- all nice. Gourmet breakfast is included. There are enough nice things said in the other reviews so I won't go on....Nice happy hour from 5 to 7p. Be sure to give yourself at least 2 nights on the island, and do rent a golf cart to go discover some very gorgeous isolated beaches, where we even saw dolphins swimming. There is a bird sanctuary down in that part of the island. Also, take a golf cart taxi from the ferry, if you have a lot of luggage, for 30 pesos, and give those guys some business. Don't forget mosquito spray .

Room Tip: Rooms on the right side of hotel,further away from the village, s you look at beach, may be quieter...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank BethHanoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2012

Really enjoyed our 5 nights on Holbox as a whole and Casa Las Tortugas was excellent. The hotel is very well located just a few mins walk from the main town centre which is tiny anyway, the beach area out front of the hotel is the best I saw along the coast with lots of different beach furniture and clean white sand - it didn't have the kelp you see washed up along other sections. The room we has was great (king suite) but I saw in to a few others and these looked nice too, staff were very good and the pool and food were also excellent. We also had a nice massage at the spa they have on site which was decent value at 80 USD. Very recommended.

Room Tip: We had the King Suite (Paloma) which was great with a sitting room, fridge and huge bathroom & a...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank UKBenTheDon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Holbox Hotel Casa las Tortugas - Petit Beach Hotel & Spa

Address: Calle Igualdad s/n, Holbox Island 77310, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Holbox Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Holbox Island
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Holbox Island
Price Range: £213 - £307 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Holbox Hotel Casa las Tortugas - Petit Beach Hotel & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beachfront boutique hotel, run by Italian family. 21 charming new rooms, Spa, Yoga center,Kiteboard school, Beach club and organic restaurant. The design influence of Francesca and her mother Greta is evident in the hotel’s 21 romantic rooms and suites, from the carefully sourced antiques and local artisan-made colonial-style furniture to the fine linens and contemporary twist on traditional Mexican fabrics. It’s a ‘bohemian-chic’ feel that fits perfectly with the relaxed ambiance of the resort. Add in roomy double-loungers and palapa daybeds on the beach – as well as a spacious new pool – and you have the perfect formula for lusciously lazy days. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Las Tortugas - Petit Beach Hotel And Spa
Casa Las Tortugas - Petit Beach Hotel Holbox Island
Hotelito Casa Las Tortugas Hotel

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